More than 8 million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes it possible? In part, it’s the city’s great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play. Amanda Burden helped plan some of the city’s newest public spaces, drawing on her experience as, surprisingly, an animal behaviorist. She shares the unexpected challenges of planning parks people love -- and why it's important. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, TED2014, 2014
Lighting architect Rogier van der Heide offers a beautiful new way to look at the world -- by paying attention to light (and to darkness). Examples from classic buildings illustrate a deeply thought-out vision of the play of light around us. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxAmsterdam, TED, Talks, architecture, design, 2010
As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, future, history, music, TED2010, 2010
A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, creativity, design, TED2011, 2011
Daniel Libeskind builds on very big ideas. Here, he shares 17 words that underlie his vision for architecture -- raw, risky, emotional, radical -- and that offer inspiration for any bold creative pursuit. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, creativity, design, technology, 2009
Architect Thom Mayne has never been one to take the easy option, and this whistle-stop tour of the buildings he's created makes you glad for it. These are big ideas cast in material form. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2005, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, culture, design, invention, 2005
Dan Barasch and James Ramsey have a crazy plan — to create a park, filled with greenery, underneath New York City. The two are developing the Lowline, an underground greenspace the size of a football field. They're building it in a trolley terminal abandoned in 1948, using technology that harvests sunlight above-ground and directs it down below. It's a park that can thrive, even in winter. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, New York, architecture, cities, TED@NYC, 2014
In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDxHouston, TED, Talks, architecture, creativity, design, green, technology, 2010
When asked to build housing for 100 families in Chile ten years ago, Alejandro Aravena looked to an unusual inspiration: the wisdom of favelas and slums. Rather than building a large building with small units, he built flexible half-homes that each family could expand on. It was a complex problem, but with a simple solution — one that he arrived at by working with the families themselves. With a chalkboard and beautiful images of his designs, Aravena walks us through three projects where... Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, design, TEDGlobal 2014, 2014
Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, architecture, environment, science, technology, 2009
Diébédo Francis Kéré knew exactly what he wanted to do when he got his degree in architecture… He wanted to go home to Gando in Burkina Faso, to help his neighbors reap the benefit of his education. In this charming talk, Kéré shows off some of the beautiful structures he's helped to build in his small village in the years since then, including an award-winning primary school made from clay by the entire community. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, architecture, sustainability, TEDCity2.0, 2013
John Hodgman, comedian and resident expert, "explains" the design of three iconic modern objects. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, humor, TED2012, 2012
Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It's a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it? Topics: TEDTalks, TED2004, TED, Talks, architecture, art, design, future, technology, 2004
In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to "stop people getting sick" in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty--through practical design fixes--in Australia and beyond. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, global issues, health, TEDxSydney, 2013
The Fez River winds through the medina of Fez, Morocco—a mazelike medieval city that’s a World Heritage site. Once considered the “soul” of this celebrated city, the river succumbed to sewage and pollution, and in the 1950s was covered over bit by bit until nothing remained. TED Fellow Aziza Chaouni recounts her 20 year effort to restore this river to its former glory, and to transform her city in the process. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, activism, architecture, cities, sustainability, TED2014, 2014
You've never seen buildings like this. The stunning bamboo homes built by Elora Hardy and her team in Bali twist, curve and surprise at every turn. They defy convention because the bamboo itself is so enigmatic. No two poles of bamboo are alike, so every home, bridge and bathroom is exquisitely unique. In this beautiful, immersive talk, she shares the potential of bamboo, as both a sustainable resource and a spark for the imagination. "We have had to invent our own rules," she says. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, sustainability, TED2015, 2015
"The work of a transport commissioner isn't just about stop signs and traffic signals," explains Janette Sadik-Khan, who was appointed to that role in New York City in 2007. In this funny and thought-provoking talk, she details the thinking behind successful initiatives to reshape street life in the 5 boroughs, including the addition of pedestrian zones in Times Square and the arrival of Citi Bikes. Watch for the special cameo at the end of the talk. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, design, transportation, TEDCity2.0, 2013
Reed Kroloff gives us a new lens for judging new architecture: is it modern, or is it romantic? Look for glorious images from two leading practices -- and a blistering critique of the 9/11 planning process. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2003, TED, Talks, architecture, art, business, design, humor, 2003
Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." From the 2007 DLD Conference, Munich; www.dld-conference.com Topics: TEDTalks, DLD 2007, TED, Talks, architecture, green, partner talk, 2007
Joshua Prince-Ramus believes that if architects re-engineer their design process, the results can be spectacular. Speaking at TEDxSMU, Dallas, he walks us through his fantastic re-creation of the local Wyly Theater as a giant "theatrical machine" that reconfigures itself at the touch of a button. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, creativity, design, theater, TEDxSMU, 2009
Diébédo Francis Kéré knew exactly what he wanted to do when he got his degree in architecture… He wanted to go home to Gando in Burkina Faso, to help his neighbors reap the benefit of his education. In this charming talk, Kéré shows off some of the beautiful structures he's helped to build in his small village in the years since then, including an award-winning primary school made from clay by the entire community. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, architecture, sustainability, TEDCity2.0, 2013
TED Fellow Lucy McRae is a body architect -- she imagines ways to merge biology and technology in our own bodies. In this visually stunning talk, she shows her work, from clothes that recreate the body's insides for a music video with pop-star Robyn, to a pill that, when swallowed, lets you sweat perfume. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, technology, TED2012, 2012
When Bran Ferren was just 9, his parents took him to see the Pantheon in Rome — and it changed everything. In that moment, he began to understand how the tools of science and engineering become more powerful when combined with art, with design and beauty. Ever since, he's been searching for a convincing modern-day equivalent to Rome's masterpiece. Stay tuned to the end of the talk for his unexpected suggestion. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, engineering, TED2014, 2014
Building a skyscraper? Forget about steel and concrete, says architect Michael Green, and build it out of … wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it's not only possible to build safe wooden structures up to 30 stories tall (and, he hopes, higher), it's necessary. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, materials, TED2013, 2013
Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper. His remarkable structures are often intended as temporary housing, designed to help the dispossessed in disaster-struck nations such as Haiti, Rwanda or Japan. Yet equally often the buildings remain a beloved part of the landscape long after they have served their intended purpose. (Filmed at TEDxTokyo.) Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, disaster relief, materials, TEDxTokyo, 2013
TED Fellow and urban designer Mitchell Joachim presents his vision for sustainable, organic architecture: eco-friendly abodes grown from plants and -- wait for it -- meat. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, environment, urban planning, TED2010, 2010
In 1967, Moshe Safdie reimagined the monolithic apartment building, creating “Habitat ’67,” which gave each unit an unprecedented sense of openness. Nearly 50 years later, he believes the need for this type of building is greater than ever. In this short talk, Safdie surveys a range of projects that do away with the high-rise and let light permeate into densely-packed cities. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, design, TED2014, 2014
Because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed. Julian Treasure sounds a call to action for designers to pay attention to the “invisible architecture” of sound. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, sound, TEDGlobal 2012, 2012
John La Grou unveils an ingenious new technology that will smarten up the electrical outlets in our homes, using microprocessors and RFID tags. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires -- and to conserve energy. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, architecture, children, design, energy, technology, 2009
How do you make a great public space inside a not-so-great building? Liz Diller shares the story of creating a welcoming, lighthearted (even, dare we say it, sexy) addition to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, creativity, TED2012, 2012
As the world's cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city's residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, design, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
At this school in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world's cutest kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, TEDx, architecture, children, design, education, play, youth, TEDxKyoto, 2014
Theaster Gates, a potter by training and a social activist by calling, wanted to do something about the sorry state of his neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. So he did, transforming abandoned buildings to create community hubs that connect and inspire those who still live there (and draw in those who don't). In this passionate talk, Gates describes his efforts to build a "miniature Versailles" in Chicago, and he shares his fervent belief that culture can be a catalyst for... Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, architecture, art, arts, cities, design, environment, urban planning,...
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2009, TED, Talks, architecture, creativity, design, environment, green, 2009
Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, architecture, bacteria, biology, design, sustainability, water,...
Author Sam Martin shares photos of a quirky world hobby that's trending with the XY set: "manspaces." (They're custom-built hangouts where a man can claim a bit of his own territory to work, relax, be himself.) Grab a cold one and enjoy. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, book, culture, design, entertainment, men, TEDGlobal 2009, 2009
When TED Fellow Xavier Vilalta was commissioned to create a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, he panicked. Other centers represented everything he hated about contemporary architecture: wasteful, glass towers requiring tons of energy whose design had absolutely nothing to do with Africa. In this charming talk, Vilalta shows how he champions an alternative approach: to harness nature, reference design tradition and create beautiful, modern, iconic buildings fit for a community. Topics: TedTalks, TED, Talks, Africa, TED Fellows, architecture, design, TEDGlobal 2013, 2013
Before he was a legend, architect Frank Gehry takes a whistlestop tour of his early work, from his house in Venice Beach to the American Center in Paris, which was under construction (and much on his mind) when he gave this talk. Topics: TEDTalks, TED1990, TED, Talks, architecture, collaboration, design, global issues, technology, 1990
"If you want to go out and start your own cemetery" in the UK, says Alison Killing, "you kind of can." She thinks a lot about where we die and are buried — and in this talk, the architect and TED Fellow offers an eye-opening economic and social perspective on an overlooked feature of our towns and cities: the cemetery. Speaking specifically to UK laws, she unpacks the fascinating, sometimes funny, often contradictory laws about where you can be buried. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, TED Fellows, aging, architecture, cities, death, design, humanity,...
In this short, provocative talk, architect Alison Killing looks at buildings where death and dying happen — cemeteries, hospitals, homes. The way we die is changing, and the way we build for dying ... well, maybe that should too. It's a surprisingly fascinating look at a hidden aspect of our cities, and our lives. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, TED Fellows, architecture, cities, death, design, TEDGlobal 2014, 2014
Kevin Surace suggests we rethink basic construction materials -- such as the familiar wallboard -- to reduce the huge carbon footprint generated by the manufacturing and construction of our buildings. He introduces EcoRock, a clean, recyclable and energy-efficient drywall created by his team at Serious Materials. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2009, TED, Talks, architecture, business, demo, design, green, invention, technology,...
How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDSalon London 2010, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, biomimicry, design, sustainability,...
In a wildly entertaining discussion with Richard Saul Wurman, architect Frank Gehry gives TEDsters his take on the power of failure, his recent buildings, and the all-important “Then what?” factor. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2002, TED, Talks, architecture, arts, business, creativity, culture, design,...
With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India's Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today -- and are often superior to modern water megaprojects. Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, design, environment, history, innovation, photography,...
Nathaniel Kahn shares clips from his documentary "My Architect," about his quest to understand his father, the legendary architect Louis Kahn. It's a film with meaning to anyone who seeks to understand the relationship between art and love. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2002, TED, Talks, architecture, children, design, entertainment, film, south asia,...
What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural society into single-identity enclaves defined by class and religion. The country's future now depends on how it chooses to rebuild. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, Middle East, architecture, community, violence, war, TEDSummit, 2016
Our bodies and homes are covered in microbes -- some good for us, some bad for us, and some just along for the ride. As we learn more about the germs and microbes who share our living spaces, TED Fellow Jessica Green asks: Can we design buildings that encourage happy, healthy microbial environments? Topics: TEDTalks, TED, Talks, architecture, biodiversity, biology, collaboration, design, science, TED2013,...
Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings. Topics: Tedtalks, TED, Talks, architecture, biology, design, innovation, materials, microbiology, nature,...
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. Topics: TEDTalks, TED2004, TED, Talks, alternative energy, architecture, cars, cities, consumerism,...
How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars. Topics: TEDTalks, TEDGlobal 2011, TED, Talks, architecture, cities, collaboration, design, energy,...